whetherwax

Spartacus again

6 posts in this topic

I have DVDs of both of these versions.One by the Australian ballet with Pavane , Heathcote and Horsman, and the other by the Bolshoi with Moukhamedov and Bessmertnova. Whilst there is great dancing in both versions - I really disliked the ballet itself - depressing and brutal. The Bolshoi version gloomy and the Seregi version episodic. Can anyone tell me what i should look for to make me understand both versions better.

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I have DVDs of both of these versions.One by the Australian ballet with Pavane , Heathcote and Horsman, and the other by the Bolshoi with Moukhamedov and Bessmertnova. Whilst there is great dancing in both versions - I really disliked the ballet itself - depressing and brutal. The Bolshoi version gloomy and the Seregi version episodic. Can anyone tell me what i should look for to make me understand both versions better.

You're missing the best version, made in 1977 on film (available on DVD) with Vladimir Valisiev as Spartacus, a younger Bessmertnova, and Maris Liepa as Crassus, the latter giving one of the great ballet performances of the century (I'm not being hyperbolic). I'm surprised no one here recommended it to you.

As for understanding the ballet, realize the Soviets made this as a piece of political propaganda, using the Spartacus led revolt of gladiators and slaves against the Imperial Roman State as an allegory of blah, blah... Everything follows from that concept.

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Thanks garybruce, I'll try to find the 1977 version. Can anyone give me some perspective on the relative worth of the two choreographers work in this ballet. Which one is considered the most emotionally sound and the most creative.

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The International Dictionary of Ballet has a discussion focusing on the Grigorovich version. I haven't seen the production by the Hungarian choreographer László Seregi which is the version the Australian Ballet has released on dvd. How do you find the two productions differ, wetherwax?

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I'm pretty unskilled at analysis Innopac, mainly because i dont have a ballet background. What I should do is have another look at both of them and have a think. However my first reaction was that the Seregi one was very episodic and there seemed to be little continuity in the narrative. Also the dances of Crassus' girlfriends were somehow irrelevant. In truth though my attention was scrappy because i was a little turned off. I will try again.

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The others on BT are much more qualified than I to answer your question, wetherwax. But I will give you my reaction as I have managed to borrow the Seregi Spartacus. And I am afraid after only watching one act tonight I was very disappointed. I think perhaps Seregi was trying to show Spartacus the man but for me it just doesn't work. And they have done something to the music, not sure what, but there are cuts and also short sections that sounded like they were arranged.

I haven't managed yet to see the Vasiliev recordings but I have seen both of the Mukhamedov dvds and besides some wonderful dancing and the music I enjoy the Grigorovich Spartacus for its pure dramatic power and spectacle.

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